Pronunciation/kəˌmɛləˈpɑːrdəlɪs/, genitive the same
Right ascension 03h 15m 36.2232s– 14h 27m 07.8855s[2]
Area757 sq. deg. (18th)
Main stars2, 8
Stars with planets4
Stars brighter than 3.00m0
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)3
Brightest starβ Cam (4.03m)
Messier objects0
Meteor showersOctober Camelopardalids
Ursa Minor
Ursa Major
Visible at latitudes between +90° and −10°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of February.

Camelopardalis /kəˌmɛləˈpɑːrdəlɪs/ is a large but faint constellation of the northern sky representing a giraffe. The constellation was introduced in 1612 or 1613 by Petrus Plancius.[3][1] Some older astronomy books give Camelopardalus or Camelopardus as alternative spellings of the name, but the official version recognized by the International Astronomical Union is Camelopardalis.[1]


First attested in English in 1785, the word camelopardalis comes from Latin,[4] and it is the romanization of the Greek "καμηλοπάρδαλις" meaning "giraffe",[5] from "κάμηλος" (kamēlos), "camel"[6] + "πάρδαλις" (pardalis), "leopard",[7] because it has a long neck like a camel and spots like a leopard.


The constellation Camelopardalis as it can be seen by the naked eye.


Although Camelopardalis is the 18th largest constellation, it is not a particularly bright constellation, as the brightest stars are only of fourth magnitude. In fact, it only contains four stars below (brighter than) magnitude 5.0.[8]

Other variable stars are U Camelopardalis, VZ Camelopardalis, and Mira variables T Camelopardalis, X Camelopardalis, and R Camelopardalis.[9] RU Camelopardalis is one of the brighter Type II Cepheids visible in the night sky.

In 2011 a supernova was discovered in the constellation.[11]

Deep-sky objects[]

Camelopardalis is in the part of the celestial sphere facing away from the galactic plane. Accordingly, many distant galaxies are visible within its borders.

Meteor showers[]

The annual May meteor shower Camelopardalids from comet 209P/LINEAR have a radiant in Camelopardalis.

Space exploration[]

The space probe Voyager 1 is moving in the direction of this constellation, though it will not be nearing any of the stars in this constellation for many thousands of years, by which time its power source will be long dead.


Camelopardalis as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1823. Above it are shown the now-abandoned constellations of Tarandus and Custos Messium.[16]

Camelopardalis is not one of Ptolemy's 48 constellations in the Almagest.[17] It was created by Petrus Plancius in 1613.[1] It first appeared in a globe designed by him and produced by Pieter van den Keere. One year later, Jakob Bartsch featured it in his atlas. Johannes Hevelius depicted this constellation in his works which were so influential that it was referred to as Camelopardali Hevelii or abbreviated as Camelopard. Hevel.

Part of the constellation was hived off to form the constellation Sciurus Volans, the Flying Squirrel, by William Croswell in 1810. However this was not taken up by later cartographers.[18]


In Chinese astronomy, the stars of Camelopardalis are located within a group of circumpolar stars called the Purple Forbidden Enclosure (紫微垣 Zǐ Wēi Yuán).

See also[]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ridpath 2001, pp. 92–93.
  2. ^ a b "Camelopardalis, constellation boundary". The Constellations. International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  3. ^ Knowledge Encyclopedia Space!. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. 2015. p. 164.
  4. ^ Lewis, Charlton T.; Short, Charles. "camelopardalis". A Latin Dictionary. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  5. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "καμηλοπάρδαλις". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  6. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "κάμηλος". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  7. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "πάρδαλις". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  8. ^ Staal 1988, p. 241.
  9. ^ a b c Norton 1973, pp. 118–119.
  10. ^ American Association of Variable Star Observers
  11. ^ Boyle, Rebecca (3 January 2011). "10-Year-Old Canadian Girl Is The Youngest Person Ever to Discover a Supernova". Popular Science. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b c Wilkins & Dunn 2006.
  13. ^ Revised NGC/IC Data 2013. Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke.
  14. ^ Levy 2005, p. 89.
  15. ^ Levy 2005, p. 91.
  16. ^ "The constellations Camelopardalis, Tarandus and Custos Messium". National Museums Scotland.
  17. ^ Ley, Willy (December 1963). "The Names of the Constellations". For Your Information. Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 90–99.
  18. ^ Kanas, Nick (2007). Star maps: history, artistry, and cartography. New York City: Springer. p. 131. ISBN 0-387-71668-8.
  • Levy, David H. (2005), Deep Sky Objects, Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-361-0
  • Norton, Arthur P. (1973), Norton's Star Atlas, pp. 118–119, ISBN 0-85248-900-5
  • Rey, H. A. (1997), The Stars—A New Way To See Them, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-24830-2
  • Ridpath, Ian (2001), Stars and Planets Guide, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-08913-2
  • Ridpath, Ian (2007), Stars and Planets Guide, Wil Tirion (4th ed.), Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-13556-4
  • Staal, Julius D.W. (1988), The New Patterns in the Sky, McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, ISBN 0-939923-04-1
  • Wilkins, Jamie; Dunn, Robert (2006), 300 Astronomical Objects: A Visual Reference to the Universe (1st ed.), Firefly Books, ISBN 978-1-55407-175-3

External links[]

Coordinates: Sky map 06h 00m 00s, +70° 00′ 00″